What You Should Know About Tall Grass and Weeds
In El Paso County — from the Upper Valley to the Lower Valley — weeds can quickly grow out of control, particularly after they get a taste of the summer rains. Weeds sprout out of perfectly manicured lawns, parking lots, parkways, sidewalks and medians. To keep the community from being overrun by this unsightly vegetation, the City of El Paso sprays medians, parkways and alleys with herbicides, cleans up city-owned vacant, and enhanced weed code enforcement. The coordinated response against weeds includes a public outreach component reminding El Paso residents to be neighborly and trim their tall grass and weeds. Overgrowth of weeds and other vegetation is not only unsightly, but can:
- Pose a fire hazard when it becomes dry
- Threaten public health by increasing the amount of allergy-triggering pollens in the air
- Serve as a shelter for vermin, mosquitoes and other nuisances
- Impede the public's ability to use sidewalks
- Reduce property values
Under the municipal Vegetation and Weed Ordinance, property owners or tenants are responsible for maintenance of vegetation on their properties and abutting sidewalks, parkways and alleys. Title 9 of the El Paso Municipal Code states, grass, weeds or uncultivated plants should not be allowed to grow taller than 12 inches. Violations are punishable by a $270 fine, which includes court costs.
Anyone put on notice by the City of El Paso Code Compliance Division for an ordinance violation should correct the violation by the compliance date on the notice. At the time notice is given the property owner or tenant may also be issued a Class C citation. If the property is not in compliance at the time of re-inspection, the property owner or tenant may be issued another Class C citation for non compliance. In addition, the City may request a court order seeking permission to access the property to correct the violation.
If the City cleans up the property, the clean-up costs will be passed on to the property owner. A lien will be placed on a property if the clean-up costs are not paid. If a repeat violation occurs within one calendar year of the first violation, the City has the authority to clean up the property and pass on the clean-up costs to property owner without providing any additional notice to the violator.
Citizens may report code violations by calling (915) 774-4500.